2 Timothy 3
Once again I come to you after another difficult week of difficult matters that cause us to shake our heads about ‘what to do about all the ‘stuff’ going on!”
Just two weeks ago I spoke about the divide and difficulty that 2017 has brought with all the flooding and tornadoes.
Today we look at the horrible event in Las Vegas and now the fires in Northern California.
: What do we do or how should we deal/react to all the difficult things going on around us?
In order to be fair to this particular text, Paul is preparing Timothy about times to come within society that will be barren of virtue; a society abounding with vices and living within an absence of faith.
There are two passages of Scripture, though, that do address difficulties during ‘the end times.’
Luke 21 brings debate among scholars because of whether Jesus was speaking only/solely about the Temple’s destruction (which it most definitely was) and whether it refers to and relate too to the second coming of Christ prophetically.
Other is of course Matthew 24. This is Matthews version of the same discourse that Jesus made cited by Luke.
Matthew 24 – has combinations of both temple destruction but then much more and obvious details about even the rapture and what we call the great tribulation period.
: This is where I deviate from the strictly theological to the practical (which too must have its roots in biblical understanding).
: Easier said than done? Probably!
But what does trust mean/imply?
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Trusting God implies
: The second thing I would say about all the difficulties and ‘weirdness’ of our times is that we shouldn’t panic.
– you and I will hear all kinds of crazy stuff even out of the mouth of other believers.
= a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Fear = timidity = shrinking back = cowardice
: You and I don’t have to have all the answers! It’s ok not to know, not to understand and not to be able to defend!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
: The third piece of pastor (biblical) advice and counsel is this….be prepared.
3. Be Prepared
“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,
like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.
Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
Mark 25 – Similar parable of oil and lamps.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Phi 4:4 NKJ)
: Lastly, for now, is that pastoral heart in me. Stay close to one another in true community.
4. Stay close to each other
What should family/community provide?
: Maybe we’re a little tired of all the bad news, the insecurity of matters? I do have good news.
One more look at Luke’s version in chapter 21.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
“men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
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